Convienient

March 3, 2008

I really like this post about Google Docs by Robert Scoble.  I find this really drives the point home about how Convenience is becoming such a deciding factor in what programs or products get used.  It states that Google Docs have a lot of problems but still they are being used. They have a major factor that normal word processors can’t duplicate, at least not yet, and that is the convenience of being online all the time and accessible to everyone without installing the program on your computer from a CD.  I personally haven’t looked at Google’s Docs yet but plan to very soon.  They would be very useful for group projects in school, as well as once we all get out in the business world.

Companies now have to build convenience into their products, look at how mobile technology is taking off, and the main reason is convenience.  I haven’t really jumped on the mobile technology band wagon yet, basically because I really have no need for it yet.  I suspect that will all change in the near future, but I welcome it.  Convenience plays a large part in my purchasing decisions, as well as which services or sites that I use.  I’m sure Google will fix the initial problems they are experiencing with the docs, and when they do this will be a great tool that everyone should take advantage of.

-TAG

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Don’t be Scared

March 3, 2008

I really liked Seth’s post seen here about learning how things work.  I know I’ve wrecked a lot of things that I own because I wanted to see how they worked, but I’ve also learned a great deal about how a lot of things worked.  I can’t leave anything alone, I’m that annoying guy in class who takes apart his pen all the time, or when you come to my house there is always something apart being fixed or tinkered with.  I was just wondering if anyone else has the bug for taking everything apart to find out how everything works, or is it just something that I’ve picked up from the Automotive field.  It really is a great way to learn how things work, and better yet how to fix them when they break.

-TAG

After reading this blog entry  on the Long tail and this blog entry  on Seth Godin’s page I thought I would write a post about free.  I covered free in a previous entry but believe that it deserves another post since it is becoming a major part of marketing.  I found this graph interesting that was part of the Long tail’s entry;

Notice how the book sales were steadily falling until she gave away more than 1.1 million copies of her book for FREE, but yet her sales still grew and put her towards the top of the charts on Amazon.com .  The point is that giving the books away for free got people’s attention and as mentioned in Seth’s blog you have to earn attention but sometimes you can buy it.  While technically you are not buying the attention from the customers, but you are waving your potential revenues from the product that you are giving away for free.

What you get from this attention is what makes it all worth while. You get your foot in the door of the consumers potential future purchases, and to some companies that can be worth millions.  Giving something away for free is a great way to get noticed, but you also have to make sure that you don’t make it look like a trap.  Most consumers have caught onto the whole 30 day FREE trial that ends up in you having some company ask you 600 times a day on your computer to buy something or to install the full version of the software.  The trick is to make it 100% free with no strings attached, and you will be surprised at the return rate of the consumers.  I know I return to a lot of companies that I receive free products from, that is if I’m impressed with them.  There is no point in giving away useless cheap junk, because that does not attract the customer back to you.   You give me a 5 cent pen when I buy something off you, or when you’re trying to get my business, sure I may think of you later, but if you give me a 20 dollar tool or part free of charge I’m going to remember you and most likely return, and I’ll sign my cheque with the other guys pen.

-TAG

It’s Your Fault

March 3, 2008

I was once again interested in one of Seth Godin’s Blog posts where he talked about where blame is placed in different interactions. Just a quick reminder of his post;

If you buy my product but don’t read the instructions, that’s not your fault, it’s mine.
If you read a blog post and misinterpret what I said, that’s my choice, not your error.
If you attend my presentation and you’re bored, that’s my failure.
If you are a student in my class and you don’t learn what I’m teaching, I’ve let you down.

I think this is a great way to evaluate websites and online services or stores. There are a lot of websites that I visit where I honestly don’t know where to start, and I’m not an idiot, and I’m not bad with a computer so I generally consider a website that I don’t understand as one that has failed to do it’s job. If I’m a fish out of water than that is a different story, If I went to a website designed for someone with a Civil Engineering degree, and didn’t understand it than it is my fault. If I am part of the designated target audience than I should be able to understand and operate the site.

I had a professor once who had a rule that applied to this, it was that the first 75% of the classes mark was his responsibility, and the remaining 25% was the students. His reasoning went like this, if the class average was not at at least 75% than he believed that he had failed as a professor. Either that he marked to hard, his lectures didn’t reach the class, or he was teaching them using the wrong methods. He would adjust everyone’s marks up until the class average was at least 75%. This could also be applied to websites. Take Facebook for example, it’s job is to attract new users and keep the ones they already have. If I joined Facebook tomorrow and couldn’t make heads or tails of the site it is unlikely that I would stay, on the other hand if I get the main idea and am able to navigate through the site and all it’s features than Mark Zuckerberg has succeeded in making a great social networking website. It is up to the user to find out the fine details or the extra features that make Facebook extraordinary (and incredibly annoying). I think I’ll use this type of reasoning more often when trying to point blame whenever something goes astray.

-TAG

Hey MonkeyBrain

March 3, 2008

Well I have been on the missing list for quite awhile due to a flood in my basement of my apartment which also happens to be my room, so I’ve been pretty busy trying to clean up and get stuff back in order so that I can get back on schedule. Most of my furniture was ruined and some of my computer equipment among other things. I now have my computer set up temporarily on a piece of plywood on top of two stacks of paper boxes. So with my absence I haven’t been posting, and after going through 217 blog posts on my RSS feed I have quite a few that I want to post about so here goes.

The first blog entry that I want to talk about was the one about the website Hey MonkeyBrain, which is a website basically dedicated to arguments. I love the idea of this and it has a lot of potential to really take off since most Internet users don’t see eye to eye on a variety of topics. I scanned through a few topics, such as the ebay boycott and a few others. The site gives you the option to search for a topic or you are able to start your own. I think this would be a great tool for consumers to do research on a product or service before making the final purchase. For instance I just purchased a portable GPS system and if I had of known of this topic perhaps I would have started a Garmin Vs. TomTom debate to see what the rest of the users of this site thought. It also harnesses great topics such as Ninjas Vs. Pirates debates, which really isn’t a debate because Ninjas win hands down haha. But I really enjoyed the site and have added it to my ever growing list of bookmarks from this course. If you haven’t checked out the site a little more indepth than what was in the blog post and enjoy arguing (maybe I should show this site to my girlfriend) or debates than this site could be a great past time for a few of us.

-TAG